Food-Drink

Gifts for Gals to Put Behind the Bar

  • Anne Taintor

     (Anne Taintor)

Whether wife, mother, sister or girlfriend, it's common knowledge that if the woman of the house isn't happy, no one is. Sure, you're not likely to stop leaving your socks in the middle of the floor or scratching inappropriate places in mixed company any time soon, but the holidays are a chance to add some brownie points to the bank with the right present. And since the season is the time to celebrate with family and friends, the right present for the woman in your life can include the ingredients necessary to have a good drink with the people that matter to her.

We've collected a list of liquor and cocktail accessories virtually any woman who enjoys a drink now and then – from moms to sisters, wives and girlfriends – would be happy to receive. So whether you're married to a mama grizzly or your sister is a hemp-wearing vegan, check out our suggestions for gifts that'll make their holiday season that much more festive and help you stock up enough goodwill toward woman to carry you through to Valentine's Day.

For mom – Mom cooks, cleans, works a 9-5 and never takes time for herself. She does, however, have a weakness for margaritas – preferably frozen. And why not? A good margarita takes her mind off just how much she spent putting you through college, not to mention the 36 hours of labor it took just to bring you into this world. The Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker would make life just a little easier for her, one batch of ice cold tequila-laden goodness at a time.

For the entertainer – An unmatched hostess and woman about town, nothing could make her happier than something to make drinks with friends that much more fun. And since sake is rapidly becoming a drink of choice for the cooler-than-thou set, this year it’s time to break out the sake bomb drinking set. Looking like a cross between a blowfish and a World War II era sea mine, the set holds 8 ounces of sake in the bomb itself, while four cups perch on the “spines.” It comes in six colors at Sake Bomb Store and would count for some serious brownie points with the party girl of your choice.

For the gourmand – She only eats the freshest and most local ingredients and dines in the finest establishments. She even made headway in refining your McDonald's tainted palate. So of course, only the most unique and artisanal spirits will do. Koval is a boutique distillery in Chicago that makes a line of organic liqueurs that has won all sorts of accolades and attention. Koval's Rose Hip liqueur is an elegant bottle any epicurean would be thrilled to have, not to mention brag about to her friends. Available in limited quantities at a variety of online liquor retailers, and delicately sweet with notes of cinnamon and clove, it's Yuletide in a bottle.

For the romantic – She cries at weddings and romantic comedies. She loves classic black and white movies with Cary Grant and wants nothing more than to be shown just how much you care. So why not pick her up a bottle from the bygone eras she so loves? Flavored with strawberry, raspberry, violet petals and other berries, Crème Yvette disappeared from shelves for about 50 years, resuming production just this past year. Mixed into champagne cocktails and raised high in a toast to your love by the light of the Christmas tree, it's a guaranteed tearjerker.

For the sister – No matter how much you fought growing up, she's your sister and you want her to be happy. And what could accomplish that goal better than giving her the ability to have a drink on hand regardless of the situation? Now that she's older, wiser and can handle her liquor responsibly, an Anne Taintor flask is the perfect stocking stuffer. Available in six styles at Amazon.com, the 4 oz. flask holds just enough to make a bad date go by a bit faster, and the retro graphics and irreverent captions encourage a judicious amount of good times without resorting to Lohan-esque levels of debauchery.

For grandma – She's been through wars, depressions, presidents of all sorts and she's still alive and kicking. This isn't a woman who sips Chardonnay and eats teacakes. She drinks whiskey. So get her a bottle of the good stuff. Red Breast 15 Year-Old Irish Whiskey is an unblended pure pot still Irish whiskey that's triple distilled and aged in oak casks for 15 years. It's mellow and smooth, with a light smoky flavor that's layered with a muted caramel and butterscotch. Far more nuanced than many whiskeys, you'll be the favorite grandkid for a long time to come.

For the vegan – Sure, she's never met an animal she didn't want to save, or a cause she didn't want to sing folk songs for, but that doesn't mean she doesn't like a drink now and then. Thatcher's Organic Liqueurs are handmade in rural Michigan with sustainably grown and sourced ingredients. The Dark Chocolate flavor in particular would go a long way toward making up for your meat-eating ways this holiday season. It's thick and rich, with a velvety texture and deep chocolaty flavor that goes on until the bottle disappears – which it does in a hurry.